Russia moots bilateral trade with rubles

Russian traders and tourists could use the ruble to pay for goods and services in Greece, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak proposed on Monday, inviting Athens to participate in the new development bank that the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) are about to create.

“The two nations could cooperate and start using a national currency – at least in Russia’s case with the use of the ruble – in payments for commodities and services,” Storchak, also the representative of the new bank, told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency.

“For example,” Storchak stated, “I can imagine that the two countries consider the use of the ruble toward the development of tourism as mutually beneficial. Russian citizens wishing to visit Greece are sensitive about swapping their rubles for another currency. Quite possibly, the next step would be the use of the ruble also for the payment of various Greek goods sold on Russian soil,” he added.

In a telephone conversation with the Russian official, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras thanked him for inviting Greece to participate in the new bank, saying that was “a nice surprise” for him that Greece will examine.

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